I read this article in Brain, Child magazine and it really caught me off guard. Did you know that in some Eastern African cultures, a high percentage of infants are diaper-free by 4-6 months of age? Did you also know that there is a Diaper-free movement right here in the good ol' USA? I didn't. I had heard of EC (Elimination Communication) during my cloth diaper-makin' days from some of those crazy diapering Mamas on the Mothering.com message boards (No offense ladies but you guys can get a little nutty about cloth diapers!) but I dismissed it as completely absurd. The prospect of potty-training an infant seems ridiculous. I'm still wearing a big gold star on my lapel for toilet learning my baby girl at age 2. Go me!
My daughter (and her non-diaper-free Mother) would be behind the curve in the EC circles. Those mamas would take one look at my gold star, roll their eyes and laugh at me, "Two years old?" they would say, "Try two months old! What kind of Mother waits until her child is two years old to take off the diapers?!" According to a spokeswoman for DiaperFreeBaby.com, there are 37 U.S. states that offer organized Diaper Free Baby support groups. Surprise! Tennessee is NOT one of them. We're still sitting on our back porches in our rockin' chairs, chewing on weeds and watchin' our babies run around in the grass in landfill-bound diapers that we purchased at Wal-Mart. We listen in awe to the stories about babies who learn to use the potty before they reach their second birthday. We consider that these children might be prodigies, headed off to some Ivy League college on a potty-trainin' scholarship.
What about those Elimination Communication babies who are toilet-learned by 4 months of age? Well, I just don't know what to think about them. Who knows? Maybe I'd be a believer if I actually met a Mom who'd used this practice successfully but I haven't. I've read a couple testimonials and frankly, it seems like entirely too much effort to save yourself and your baby a year or two of diaper duty.